Firm running Portsmouth pub to be thrown out over unpaid rent costs

The Compass Rose pub
The Compass Rose pub
The fire near Kentidge Way, Waterlooville, yesterday. Picture: Craig Handy

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THE company in charge of a pub that lost its alcohol licence following a violent fight at an 18th birthday party is to be kicked out.

Enterprise Inns, owner of the Compass Rose in Anchorage Park, Portsmouth, has been given permission to get rid of its tenant Campbell Public Houses Limited.

The order, made at Portsmouth County Court yesterday, was requested by Enterprise because it was owed £24,000 in rent.

There was evidence showing CPH had bought beer from elsewhere and not through Enterprise – a breach of contract.

It comes after 40 people were involved in a brawl outside the pub on Sunday, April 6, an incident resulting in the city council revoking the pub’s alcohol licence.

The incident happened before the order was lodged so wasn’t connected to the case.

Ian Campbell, manager of the pub on behalf of CPH, said he was disappointed with the outcome and didn’t want to lose his home, which could now happen any day.

‘I don’t know where this leaves me,’ he said.

‘I’ve lived there for seven years and it’s my home.

‘Yes, we owed money, because it’s a struggling business.

‘At the end of the day, we haven’t got a penny.’

Mr Campbell admitted he was left with no choice but to buy beer elsewhere one Christmas because Enterprise said it wasn’t able to make a delivery.

CPH was described in court as a ‘zombie company’ because there are no directors left, despite it owing lots of money.

Despite his role at the pub, Mr Campbell said he never became a director because he became bankrupt after taking on The Connaught Arms in Fratton in 2011.

Mr Campbell’s daughter, Louise Campbell, is a former director and has to help cover £2,930.50 in costs awarded to Enterprise.

Hannah Bourne, also a former director, told the court she wasn’t aware she even held the title until recently.

A separate hearing is to be held over whether she should take some responsibility for the problems as there is a dispute over how she was given the role.

District Judge Douglas Taylor said: ‘The order that I have made is an order which is in my judgment the right order to make today.

‘Ms Bourne’s position is that she has signed documents and undertaken responsibilities which she did not fully understand, but there is no doubt she has been a director of this company.’

Meanwhile, the pub has now been given back its licence, but on the condition that Mr Campbell is not the person responsible for selling alcohol.

CCTV must be in operation and no glass can be taken outside. An Enterprise Inns spokesperson declined to comment.